“Educating the world’s girls will simply change the course of history”. These were the words of the Global Partnership for Education’s CEO, Alice Albright, as she assumed her new role on the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council.
The fate of a girl born today in a developing country, or one affected by violence and conflict, is riddled with uncertainty. Will her family be able to afford to send her to school? Even if they can, will it be safe enough for her to go? Will she be forced to drop out, having been driven into early child marriage or as a result of sexual violence? Will she have to miss school every time she’s menstruating because of a lack of access to toilets and water? Will there be any female teachers to inspire her?
Members of the G7’s Gender Equality Advisory Council are challenged to find solutions to some of these questions, which at their root represent the most persistent and pressing challenges to gender equality facing our generation, and the next.
The inaugural meeting of the Council took place in Paris last month and presents an unrivalled opportunity for progressing the prioritization of girls’ education worldwide; the Global Partnership for Education will support the French G7 presidency to implement and build upon Prime Minister Trudeau’s founding of the initiative in 2018.
“In the context of more than 130 million girls worldwide being denied the opportunity to go to school and many millions more in school but not learning, the privilege of being invited to sit on the Council is matched by a profound sense of responsibility”, Alice shared.
The Council will grapple with what stands between the unjust status quo of today and the gender equitable world of tomorrow. She continued, “it would be an unspeakable honor to stand in front of that same girl born today, full of questions about whether she will be able to enjoy her most basic human right to an education, in ten years’ time and to know that we were a small part of why she sits proudly in the classroom, dreaming of a future that she has the opportunity to make a reality”.